Design Diagrams: Brown Bags the Charts and Big Lanterns

“Brown finds itself at the epicenter of two major design styles that [have] swept the country,” declares Cote de Texas’s Joni Webb. And those would be? “The Belgian and Industrial looks.”

In Houston at least, Jill Brown appears to have cornered the market on large lantern-style lighting fixtures and European instructional charts. On separate recent visits to her last-name-only shop on the corner of Ferndale and W. Alabama, Webb and fellow design blogger Paloma Contreras documented the finds:


That Belgian look is unmistakable, no? Contreras: “In the store, you’ll find pieces to suit almost anyone’s design aesthetic…traditional, French, Swedish, industrial, all of which have a huge fan base.” Oh, and Paper City titled its spread on Brown’s similarly decorated former home “American Gothic.”

On a tour of Brown’s new home, Webb finds where the rest of the teaching charts have been hiding:

Photos: Paloma Contreras (Brown interior) and Joni Webb (Brown shop exterior and home interior)

6 Comment

  • Wow — Brown’s residence looks like you could actually be comfortable as a visitor and be able to relax enough to have a good time. So many of these designers are over the top and pretentious. Her’s doesn’t cross that line, IMO.

  • Glad to finally know what that house on W. Alabama is used for. Initially, I thought that big sign with “Brown” splashed across it was an advertisement for UPS.

  • And what, pray tell, is the “Belgian Look”? Lace? Waffles? Beer? Congolese Exploitation? Furniture you can pack on an oxcart when the invading army arrives?

  • Thanks Gus! YOu know, before Palmona came out with her blog on Brown, I already had a date with Jill for an interview and shoot at her house – so, that’s what happens when blogs collide.

    Thanks again, so much!!

  • Hi Gus,

    Thank you for the mention! I’m glad that you enjoyed the images and that Joni and I were able to offer different perspectives regardless of who did what first.

    Happy Thanksgiving!


  • Scott (good thoughts)

    “A little too Northern to be French”, evidently: once Mediterranean is done to death, Flemish gets you the Germanic and Baltic robustness without completely drowning out what people liked about the earlier trend.